246 HISTORY OF PERSIA CHAP.
janissaries, who had been kept in reserve, now opened
fire on the horsemen commanded by the Shah, who,
after performing prodigies of valour, fell from his horse
wounded and was nearly captured. Upon remounting
he fled, followed by his dispirited troops, and Selim won
the hard-fought battle. The Persian camp became the
victor's prize, all the male prisoners were massacred, and
Tabriz submitted to the Turks.
The campaign was not prosecuted into the heart of
Persia, as the Turkish army was mutinous and refused to
proceed. Selim was obliged to evacuate Tabriz, which
he sacked, and to content himself with the annexation of
Kurdistan and Diarbekir. Georgia he also annexed, but
this was afterwards recovered by Shah Ismail. Peace was
not concluded, and frontier raids continued for many
In his next great campaign Selim turned his powerful
army against Egypt, which he converted into a Turkish
province. Of equal, if not greater, importance, was the
arrangement made with the puppet Caliph, who was ;
induced to make over to the conqueror his spiritual
authority, together with the standard and cloak of
Mohamed. In other words, the house of Othmaff',
succeeded to the Caliphate, and at the present time it is"
generally recognized as spiritual head of Islam by Sunni
Moslems,1 though not by Shias.
The Death of Shah Ismail and his Character.—Shah
Ismail, who was a capable, brave leader, is regarded with
much affection by Persians for having established the
Shia doctrines as the national religion. He was also
worshipped during his life as a saint, and his subjects
fought with fanaticism on his behalf, often refusing to,
wear armour in battle. He was left-handed and of great
personal strength ; it is said that he never smiled after
his defeat by the Turks. He died at Ardebil in 1524'
and was deeply mourned by all his subjects.
Tahmasp) A.H. 930-984 (1524-1576).—Tahmasp, the
eldest of the sons of Shah Ismail, succeeded to the throne
1 Educated Indian Moslems appear to be giving up their belief m the spiritual
supremacy of the Sultan and rather look upon him as the embodiment of the temporal
power of Islam. The war now raging may modify this view.